Archive for ‘Games’

June 17, 2014

2014 Mens Chess Championship Tournament – FIDE Chooses Sochi

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

FIDE Tournament Host Selection

Perhaps you had a bad case of triskaidekaphobia  and missed last Friday’s announcement that the Men’s 2014 Chess Championship will be held in Sochi this November. The re-match between Magnus Carlsen & Viswanathan Anand will be hosted in Sochi.

The agreement between Putin and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (FIDE President) will perhaps salvage Sochi’s reputation after all of the Olympic insults about it being less than suitable, unfinished site. This tournament will also be juxtaposed against the political climate since Russia annexed Crimea after Sochi Olympics.

The chess tournament  is also going to be challenged by Russian finances, as the Bloomberg article indicates that Russia needs to add an extra  $58 Billion to ease their bank system’s funding shortage putting  at least one bank:

Sberbank is between Scylla and Charybdis  

– an analyst at BCS Financial Group

Toss in a former chess champion, Russian Activist, Garry Kasparov (Га́рри Ки́мович Каспа́ров) and this tournament has all the making of another drama that could blow up in the face of FIDE and/or Putin. Stanczyk loves Slavic dramas!

Putin and Ilyumzhinov

Vladimir Putin and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (FIDE)

September 8, 2013

NCAA Football 2013 — Post Week 2 #BigTen, #B1G

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

WeekPostSo far the college football season has been great:  Clemson-Georgia, Georgia-SC, Michigan-Notre Dame, Florida-Miami, Texas-BYU, plus a few FBS teams beat FCS teams. Its early but how are things shaping up relative to inter-conference play ?

So far the Big 10 (which as twelve teams in contrast to the Big 12 which has ten teams — but ignore the names).

Big 10:   only three losses

ACC:      only five losses, beat the SEC in two head-to-head, two ACC-on-ACC, so three losses really

PAC 12:  only four losses, one of which was PAC12-on-PAC12, so lets call it three losses

SEC:       only six losses, two of which were SEC-on-SEC contests so lets call it four losses

Big 12:   only five losses, one of which was BIG12-on-BIG12 so really four losses

So Big 10,  ACC,  and PAC 12 are the leaders so far in inter-conference play. Who are soaking up the losses? American Athletic (9 losses, really 8),  Mid American (15, really 14), Conference USA (16, really 15), and the Independents (including Notre Dame) with only six teams have seven losses.

So it is this jester’s opinion that the National polls are skewed to the SEC (which to be fair has won the National Title so many years in a row). None the less, the rankings need to be re-balanced upon this season’s truth not on last season’s results.

Next Week …

No. 1 Alabama vs No. 7 Texas A&M  — Must see Game

No. 18 UCLA     vs No. 22 Nebraska   — Very Compelling Game

Tennessee at No. 2 Oregon

No. 3 Ohio State at California

No. 20 Washington at Illinois

Ole Miss at No. 15 Texas

No. 14 Notre Dame at Purdue

No. 21 Wisconsin at Arizona State

No. 8 Louisville at Kentucky

Boston College at No. 25 USC  — (only interesting ACC  inter-conference game)

A lot of Big 10 vs PAC 12 games this week.

 

My Picks …

Texas A&M over Alabama in an upset. TAMU is at home, but BAMA has had a week to prepare so it will be close. Alabama’s reign is over!

Nebraska over UCLA in a mild upset. Again Nebraska is at home and they have looked like a juggernaut. Nebraska has two games, but UCLA has two weeks to prepare. Stats slightly favor UCLA over Nebraska so I guess it is just the home field advantage I am hanging my hat on and Big Red having two games under its belt. Almost a toss-up.

Winners – Oregon,  Ohio State,  Notre Dame,  Wisconsin,  Louisville,

Toss Ups –  Washington/Illinois,  Ole Miss/Texas,   Boston College/USC

Wisconsin looks like Fielding Yost Point-A-Minute team, unscored upon so far. The biggest lock. It will be high scoring game (no defense played here unless it is by Wisconsin).

On the Toss-Ups take the home teams. USC must watch out for Boston College though.

July 28, 2012

What Is Your Social IQ ?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Blogger
Facebook
Flickr
Flipboard
FourSquare
Google+
iReddit
Klout
LinkedIn
Meetup
Pinterest
Skype
Stumble Upon
Tumblr
Twitter
Wordpress

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Match the App icon (on the left) to the App Name on  right.
  2. Which 3 Apps are for writing blogs (micro-blogging does not count)?
  3. How many Apps from the list have you ever used?

Answers:

1. 1 pt for each correct Apps matched with its name (answer page 7/28/2012)

2. Blogger, Tumblr, and WordPress [2 pts for each one you got]

3.  1-4  = 1 pt;   5-8 = 2 pts;    9-12 = 3 pts;   12+ = 4 pts

Perfect Score: 26:  You must be a social genius

17-25:  Highly Evolved

10-16: Socially Adept

5-9: Need to do some Googling

1-4: Internet Marooned

0: Luddite

December 6, 2011

An Open Letter to: Jim Delany (Big 10), John D. Swofford (ACC), Larry Scott (PAC 12)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

To: Jim Delany (Big 10) John D. Swofford (ACC) Larry Scott (PAC 12)

An Open Letter to: Jim Delany (Big 10), John D. Swofford (ACC), Larry Scott (PAC 12)

12/6/2011

Re: BCS Poll

You should immediately quit the BCS. It is rigged against you and your three conferences. If you read my letter then you should see from my analysis, that the “computer polls” are inherently biased (and perhaps worse than the two human polls that make up the other 2/3 of the BCS rankings).

First off, I used the Human Polls (Harris Poll & USA Today/ESPN) as the normative index. If you say this ok then you can accept my analysis. If you reject it, then you should be pitting LSU against Oklahoma State in the BCS Championship Bowl Game, because that is what the Computer Polls would have made the result if there were no human polls as a part of the BCS Index.

My analysis clearly shows that the computer polls OVERWHELMINGLY favor the BIG12 and have a strong bias in favor of the SEC too. At the same time it is OVERWHELMINGLY rigged against the BIG 10 and strongly biased against the ACC and the PAC 12 conferences.

The analysis shows that the Big 10, ACC and the PAC 12 would have to overcome a huge bias by the computer polls via the Human Polls to have any chance to reach the BCS Championship Game. You should realize that by selecting the SEC every year to play in the BCS Championship Game, you keep the bias in the computer polls and it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy each and every year. That means the BIG Money will continue to flow unchecked into the SEC (and also to lesser degree to the BIG 12) as it is a “virtuous cycle” upwards for these two conferences who get the best recruits and booster money because they are ALWAYS in the BCS Championship Game.

Now that you have given in to the precedent of two teams from the same conference in the BCS Championship Game (should be a rule against this) you will see a heavy bias to that year after year, since that is all new recruits will see and the “virtuous cycle” will persist. Also, did you realize that the computer and the human polls will emphasize the next year’s polls based upon the previous year, via the pre-season polls?

The root cause you will see is that two computer polls in particular: Kenneth Massey & Jeff Sagarin strongly overemphasize Big 12 teams and SEC teams also have a strong positive bias, while at the same time, these two same computer polls also demonstrate an under-emphasis of the Big 10 and a strong negative bias against the ACC and PAC 12. The effect is what we have seen for the last few years and culminating in this years SEC-only Championship.

If you want to keep the BCS Polls, then you will need to do five things to improve them and their perception as fair:

  1. Make a rule that the BCS Championship can NEVER have two teams from the same conference. This should be self evident.
  2. Make the remaining computer polls submit their algorithms to an audit before the season starts and a week before/after the final BCS rankings \to ensure that these computer algorithms are “bias free” from human intervention and that the same results are achieved in the before/after of the final rankings (i.e no tampering and results are reproducible i.e. no randomness).
  3. You must get rid of one or both of Kenneth Massey of Jeff Sagarin computer polls. The dual combination skews the biases in favor of BIG12/SEC and against the BIG10/ACC/PAC12. If you only get rid of one, then the initial removal should be Jeff Sagarin. The two computer polls show the same bias and are merely echoes of each other thus giving them an undue advantage over the other four computer polls. The Jeff Sagarin poll is merely MORE pronounced (in its biases) than the Kenneth Massey poll.
  4. No 4 loss or 5 loss TEAM can ever be eligible for a BCS Bowl Game. You need this rule to prevent obvious bias from contaminating the system.
  5. No 2 loss TEAM can play in the BCS Championship Bowl Game (substitute the next highest ranked team that does not violate rules 1 & 5).

Mind you the Anderson & Hester computer poll exhibits some bias too, but it at least it is not in COMPLETE lock step with the Kenneth Massey or Jeff Sagarin polls. Otherwise, please dismantle the BCS system and just have 4 super football conferences and take the conference champion from each and have these four teams play a semi-final and a final game to determine the national champion fairly. See the attached spreadsheet data, cut/pasted into the next page and do you your own analysis to validate my findings and see if you reach the same conclusion. Please pay special attention to TEXAS in the final rankings if you wish to be totally disgusted by the computer polls – there is no mathematics that can justify that conclusion by computers, unless there is a BIG12 bias. The computer polls would have made TEXAS, a 7-5 team, the 19th ranked team overall in the whole country and the two offending computer polls would have made TEXAS 13th in the country and eligible for a BCS at Large Bowl Game. Can you imagine? Only TEXAS and AUBURN (BIG12 & SEC) have 5 losses in the BCS Top 25. In fact there are no other 5 loss or any 4 loss teams!

Someone should commend the Richard Billingsley, Colley Matrix and Peter Wolfe computer polls for their ability to keep bias from skewing their rankings.

Anderson & Hester can and should do better in their computer algorithm.

2011 FINAL BCS POLL
Human Polls A/H RB CM KM JS PW

Comp   Polls

Comp     Diff Diff Summ
LSU SEC 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
BAMA SEC 2 -1 -1 -1 -1 0 0 3 -1 -4
OKLA St B12 3 1 1 1 1 0 0 2 1 4
Stanford P12 4 0 0 -1 -4 -6 -3 5 -1 -14
Oregon P12 5 -7 0 -3 -5 -4 -1 8 -3 -20
Arkansas SEC 6 -1 -2 -6 1 2 2 5 1 -4
Boise St MWC 7 -2 1 0 -6 -6 -1 9 -2 -14
Kans. St B12 8 3 1 4 4 3 3 4 4 18
SCaro SEC 9 -1 1 -2 0 1 0 10 -1 -1
Wisc B10 10 -5 0 -5 -6 -9 -2 14 4 -27
VaTech ACC 11 -2 0 -2 -3 -10 -6 13 2 -23
Baylor B12 12 1 2 -5 2 6 5 11 -1 11
UMich B10 13 2 -3 4 -6 -9 -5 15 2 -17
OKLA B12 14 8 5 8 7 8 4 7 -7 40
Clemson ACC 15 -4 0 -3 -5 -2 2 16 1 -12
Georgia SEC 16 2 -4 0 5 5 2 12 -4 10
Mich St. B10 17 -3 4 -4 -7 -7 -5 21 4 -22
TCU MWC 18 -4 4 -1 -5 0 3 17 -1 -3
Houston CUSA 19 3 0 5 -2 -6 0 18 -1 0
Nebraska B10 20 3 2 3 -5 -3 0 19 -1 0
So. Miss CUSA 21 25 -1 -1 25 25 5 24 3 78
Penn St. B10 22 1 1 2 25 25 -1 23 1 53
West VA Beast 23 25 25 -1 25 25 25 25 2 124
Texas B12 24 7 25 2 11 11 0 19 -5 56
Auburn SEC 25 0 1 25 8 11 4 21 -4 49
-7 11 -8 -35 -37 -2 -17 -78
 Skew By  Conference
ACC -6 0 -5 -8 -12 -4 -35
B10 -2 4 0 -24 -28 -13 -63
B12 20 7 10 25 28 12 102
Beast na na -1 na na na -1
CUSA 3 -1 4 -2 -6 5 3
MWC -6 5 -1 -11 -6 2 -17
PAC12 -7 0 -4 -9 -10 -4 -34
SEC -1 -5 -9 13 19 8 25

Source: 12/5/2011 Philadelphia Inquirer Final BCS Standings

The bottom five teams were unranked in one or more computer polls making their data unfit for some of the analyses – these were not used in the bottom analysis of Skew By Conference.

August 9, 2011

And the Loser of the 2012 Mens Chess Championship Is …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk knows exactly how the guy on the left feels. The chess clock is still ticking, the flag has dropped … a while a go …  and yet FIDE plays on. No host has been selected (or has one). There have been announcements/press releases, then retractions.

Forget going to the Russian Chess Federation (English language web page): http://russiachess.org/eng/ .  The English version is four years out of date – I hope Gary Kasparov does well. Switching to the Russian language was no help either — no mention of the hosting one way or another. But it was more current.

The PakChess.org website announced Moscow won the right to host and posted a transcription of the FIDE announcement. http://pakchess.org/hot-stories/fide-awards-world-championship-match-to-moscow

This Chess Blog website had the actual FIDE press release posted naming Moscow as the winning bid to host the 2012 Men’s Championship. (see http://chess.business-news-blog.eu/2011/breaking-news-wc-to-be-held-in-moscow-not-chennai/ )

Chess Vibes - http://www.chessvibes.com/  said the FIDE Press Release awarding the torunament to Moscow (Russian Chess Federation) was released and then FIDE issued a subsequent announcement to say their previous announcement was not announced.

FIDE.com website is mum. Don’t you just love the intrigue? I hope the chess tournament is as exciting, although one hopes it will be better managed. It occurs to Stanczyk that FIDE had said about two weeks ago that August 10th is the latest deadline, so they still have HOURS to go,  so  why be hasty — they (FIDE) have only missed a few time trials this year in the awarding of the Host site. Time may very well tell — but you would never know by this year.

I say let Moscow and Chenai do rock-scissors-paper in the best two out of three with the highest rated rock-scissors-paper players from  each country to decide. Anything to get this debacle over.

Oh, I forgot, you came here to my blog to see who the big loser was. It was FIDE!

July 30, 2011

#Poland #Chess – Krakow to Host FIDE General Assembly & Mikhail Gorbachev to Speak

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Where's the Details?

The World Chess Federation announced yesterday that Mikhail Gorbachev will speak at the upcoming FIDE General Assembly in Krakow, Poland. Full Story: http://www.fide.com/component/content/article/1-fide-news/5434-fide-president-met-with-mikhail-gorbachev.html . Now that is interesting!

OK, here is Stanczyk’s beef ! Where are the details? Missing from the announcement is the date of the Assembly or further details of the location. Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room — No 2012 announcement for the Men’s 2012 World Chess Championship has been announced.

Previously, I wrote about the delayed selection here . That was the second time the announcement had been missed. So tomorrow (31-July-2011) is the day. Do we have a 2012 Chess Championship or is FIDE still snoozing? Perhaps FIDE needs to recognize the world economy and soften their requirements for the host. My hope is either Poland or the USA will host the 2012 Championship.
Will FIDE actually make the announcement on Sunday? Is Gorbachev making this announcement tomorrow in Krakow, in the middle of summer — what no Holidays for management? The Chess Clock is ticking …  or will FIDE forfeit on time constraints?

June 30, 2011

2012 Mens Chess Championship Tournament – Host Selection Still Pending

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

FIDE Tournament Selection

 

It was supposed to be today that we found out where and when the 2012 Men’s Chess Championship between AnandGelfand would occur. The process for selecting a host for this tournament has been extended another month until 31-July-2011.

The details can be found here: http://discusschess.com/bids-deadline-for-anand-gelfand-2012-extended.html . I just wanted to update my earlier article on this Chess Championship. Stanczyk thinks FIDE needs to be more flexible on their demands. I think they are snoozing on  the job and need to wake up and smell the coffee. I hope someone in the USA can pull together a bid, I’d love to see a Chess Championship in person!  OK, America its your move.

June 13, 2011

Chess & Chess Champions

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Fischer-Spassky 6

It has been a woefully long time since this jester has had eyes for the chessboard other than an occaisional romp with moja żona. So Stanczyk is ashamed that while reading the New York Times newspaper, I found out that the World Chess Champion is Viswanathan Anand (2007-current). Anand is an Indian Grandmaster and as my math informs me has been World Champion for four years (this September). When the Chess Championship was split, he also held the FIDE Championship in 2000-2002. Now I  admit I was stunned by this !

In Stanczyk’s lifetime the World Chess Champion has always been Russian/Soviet, with a brief respite for American Bobby Fischer (1972-1975). In fact, before Anand & Fischer, the last non-Russian Champion was Max Euwe (Netherlands)  1935-1937. Since 1886 when they began recording a World Chess Champion, there have only been 15 Champions across that 125 years span. So for the last four years, Stanczyk has been oblivious. Indeed, my mind’s eye still was set back in the Gary Kasparov years. So it is like I am awaking from a decade long coma to find out who the new World Chess Champion is.

The World Chess Championship is played every other year. So 2012 is the next match for the World Championship. Oddly, where the World Chess Championship will be played will not be decided until  June 30th 2011. We do know who will be competing for thte title. It will be Anand and Israeli Boris Gelfand. The Chess Clock is ticking … where will the next championship be? What is sure is that 2012 will definitely see yet again, another non-Russian World Chess Champion.

Longest reigning Champion was Emanuel Lasker, at an astounding 28 years.  The complete list of Champions:

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